The Kansas City Atheist Coalition has developed a tradition of helping to feed the hungry at the Kansas City Rescue Mission for the past two years. According to the KC Atheist Coalition, they have supplied the largest percentage of Thanksgiving volunteers each year they have helped out. However, that tradition of goodwill has now ended. This unfortunate bit of news was posted on the Kansas City Atheist Coalition’s web site on Saturday:
[box type=”shadow”]For the past two years, the Kansas City Atheist Coalition has volunteered with the Kansas City Rescue Mission to deliver meals to those in need on Thanksgiving, and then later collected gift donations for an adopted family at a December holiday party.
Things this year, however, aren’t going to be quite the same – we’ve got some good news, and we’ve got some bad news.
The good news is that we are definitely still adopting a family for the holidays. Due to the closeness of Thanksgiving to December, though, we’re opting to use our Thanksgiving dinner event to collect donations. If you can’t make the dinner, don’t worry – we’ll work out a way for you to make your donations! To make up for the lack of a holiday party at which to collect donations, we’re going to also put together a white elephant gift party.
The bad news is that we aren’t likely to have a volunteer event. The reason is unfortunate: Kansas City Rescue Mission has decided to use the meals they deliver as a chance to proselytize to its recipients by inserting religious literature into the meals. They informed us that we “would not be a good fit” (emphasis theirs) for volunteering with them, and declined to respond to any further inquiries. We can only speculate at their motivation behind this; we’ve made it a pretty good show before.
The further unfortunate truth of this is that they waited until after we had spent roughly a month trying to get a hold of them to tell us they would not be accepting our offer to help volunteer. That’s put us on such short notice that we’re having trouble organizing a Thanksgiving Day volunteer event – we’re trying, but the other organizations we’ve been looking at are full up. We wouldn’t ask anyone to hold their breaths.[/box]
President Josh Hyde had this to say in the comment section of an article written by JT Eberhard:
That’s right — the KC rescue mission is willing to shun a group that has, for the past couple years, provided amazing support in the pursuit of feeding the hungry. President Josh Hyde says that last year, the group provided about twelve volunteers. The Kansas City Atheist Coalition is disheartened at not having a Thanksgiving volunteer project, but plans to move forward with plans to adopt a family for the holidays. They are also looking into other ways to help out.
This is not the first time Atheists have been excluded from helping the needy in the name of the loving Christian God. “Upstate Atheists,“ a group of nonbelievers in Spartanburg, SC, was not permitted to help out at the local soup kitchen because they did not have enough G-O-D in their diet. The group, instead, handed out about 300 care packages across the street from the soup kitchen.
We wish the KC Atheist Coalition the best in their continued efforts to ease the suffering in the world. It is unfortunate that the KC Rescue Mission has taken the stance that feeding the hungry takes a back seat to converting others to a faith that instructs them to worship a god who would allow them to go hungry in the first place. Once again, an Atheist group has proven that a person’s character is not based in faith.
Charity should be an endeavor that is independent of religion. Treating people who are eager to help as though they are undeserving of the honor is not only wrong, but in the end it only truly hurts those who need the help.
Theology-based exclusionism and charity mix almost as well as Rebecca Black’s “Friday” and Jesus. Seriously…take a look: